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American Shad

Scientific Name: Alosa sapidissima

Record Pictures

NC state record American Shad.
R. S. Proctor holding the largest American Shad ever photographed. Caught from the Tar River in North Carolina. This is the current NC state record, weighing in at 7 pounds, 15 ounces caught in 1974.

Angler holds Trophy American Shad
Caught at Shanghai Falls in the American River. This American shad is a close California state record, weighing just under 7 pounds.

Large American Shad Catch.

Popular Fishing Videos

Female angler showing how its done. Catching tons of nice sized American shad from the Tail Race Canal in South Carolina. During a spawn run.

Great video showing you how to catch Hickory & American Shad. Also shows how to identify the difference between the two species of shad. Fishing James River in Virginia.

Information & Fishing Tips

Also known as White, Atlantic and Jack Shad. Males are often called Buck Shad, while females are called Roe Shad. American Shad are the most popular herring species of fish in North America, among anglers. Prized for there fish eggs. Many anglers say their caviar is among the best and packs a unique taste. Best fishing is in Mid November (warmer regions) to July (Colder regions) when they swim in large schools up Pacific & Atlantic coastal fresh water rivers for there spawn run. Light line & fly/spincast rod using small artificial flies, spoons, jigs or shad darts seem to be the best basic setup for catching American Shad. Natural foods and baits include plankton, fish eggs, small fish, and insects. When hooked they often leap up in the air reacting with an amazing amount of energy and power. Their distribution is in the western and eastern coast lines of USA & Canada. In the west starting from Northern California up to Southern Alaska. In the east starting from Florida up to Nova Scotia Canada. They can live up to 11 years, most will die before 7 years though, because many repeat spawner's end up dieing on their way back to sea. They can reach lengths over 26 inches and weights up to 11 pounds, although anything above 7 pounds is very rare. The meat is white, flaky and considered good eating when prepared fresh or smoked. Their caviar for many anglers is a bigger reward than their meat.
American Shad Distribution Map

World Record

Angler: Bob Thibodo. Caught: 1986. Weight: 11 pounds, 4 ounces. Location: Connecticut River, Massachusetts.

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